Stop working under the radar

Let’s look at the temptation to overachieve. Many people believe that they have to work twice as hard as anyone else in order to be recognized and promoted over members of the dominant group. There can even be an “I’ll  show them” attitude driving their overachievement. But overachieving can  backfire. Here’s what happened to Tony:

I always thought that my boss would be fair and when the time came  all my hard work would pay off. I get in at 8:30AM and I don’t leave  until 9:00 p.m. I come in at least one day on the weekends. They all  know that I do and frankly, it’s the only way the work gets done. I  know that my boss appreciates it.  Now I see one guy is losing his job and the other is being promoted and I really thought that I would get that job because I have  been doing a component of it functionally. I have never been the one  to push but I am really hurt that he didn’t give it to me.

You might think that quietly putting in long hours, working under the  radar and not complaining would be the characteristics of a solid professional,  but these practices have both positive and negative outcomes. The benefits  are obvious—you develop a reputation for being a dependable and detail oriented  person who will get the job done. Your boss values you because in  a pinch she can give you a tricky assignment and you will move heaven and  earth and deliver with no complaints.

But here’s the downside: as I always advise, you should look at every  assignment carefully. When you take on an extra task without considering in  advance how this project will provide either increased visibility or allow you  to deepen or expand your professional experience, then you have wasted a  big opportunity.

If you accept extra work as “no big deal,” without asking to have anything taken off your plate, you risk sabotaging your own efforts by shortchanging other work. Remember; as you move into senior levels you can’t expect your hard work to automatically pay off. It’s up to you to approach the challenge strategically and seek out opportunities that will showcase your abilities and catapult you for the next level.

Now is the time to stop working under the radar.

From Getting There Staying There: By Priscilla H. Douglas 

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